Rocky Mountain Club B5

Discussion Forums => General Discussion => Topic started by: Spicoli on May 24, 2009, 08:33:54 PM

Title: Do Traffic Laws Cause accidents?
Post by: Spicoli on May 24, 2009, 08:33:54 PM
This is an interesting article from another forum. (

Here's a summary:

In 2005, the New York Times described the center of Drachten, a Dutch city of about 50,000, which, at the insistence of traffic guru Hans Monderman, stripped away all regulatory traffic control features:

    Not only was it virtually naked, stripped of all lights, signs and road markings, but there was no division between road and sidewalk. It was, basically, a bare brick square.
    But in spite of the apparently anarchical layout, the traffic, a steady stream of trucks, cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians, moved along fluidly and easily, as if directed by an invisible conductor. When Mr. Monderman, a traffic engineer and the intersection’s proud designer, deliberately failed to check for oncoming traffic before crossing the street, the drivers slowed for him. No one honked or shouted rude words out of the window.

    “Who has the right of way?” he asked rhetorically. “I don’t care. People here have to find their own way, negotiate for themselves, use their own brains.”

According to a 2006 article Der Speigel, the number of traffic accidents in Drachten “declined dramatically” after the area was redesigned.
“The many rules strip us of the most important thing: the ability to be considerate. We’re losing our capacity for socially responsible behavior,” Monderman told Der Spiegel. “The greater the number of prescriptions, the more people’s sense of personal responsibility dwindles.”

And if traffic laws cause accidents.....
Title: Re: Do Traffic Laws Cause accidents?
Post by: bmann on May 25, 2009, 09:14:52 AM
I believe it, in a small scale like that.  But I bet about 50% of the lawyers in that town are now out of a job.  Seriously.  Having laws gives you someone to blame when you do get in an accident.
Title: Re: Do Traffic Laws Cause accidents?
Post by: Spicoli on May 25, 2009, 02:30:37 PM
Yeah, I can't see that working in a major city or larger scale.  And I by no means think there shouldn't be laws... just an interesting article.
Title: Re: Do Traffic Laws Cause accidents?
Post by: 92UrS4 on May 25, 2009, 04:31:20 PM
The problem I have is that most of these drivers drove with rules in place previously, or have come from places with rules. I don't really buy it. For it to be a true measure, do it only a in a place with new drivers who have only been trained on how to operate a vehicle properly. My guess is pure failure.

Subtle things like roundabouts have been proven to work for those used to them, for people new to them it is scary and frustrating. However, they force you to slow, in most cases, and if there is no traffic from your left you can keep going. No need to stop and feel rushed or worry. However, those are still rule/law driven.

The only reason laws and rules are put into place are because of boneheads. There is no way the US would adopt something like this because of all the sue crazy citizens.
Title: Re: Do Traffic Laws Cause accidents?
Post by: Mcstiff on May 26, 2009, 01:37:51 PM
...they force you to slow...